CINCINNATI — Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert both had impressive rookie campaigns last season.
Burrow's season ended early due to a torn left ACL, meanwhile Herbert set the record for the most touchdown passes by a rookie in NFL history.
The Good Morning Football crew was asked which quarterback they would start their franchise with moving forward. It led to an interesting debate between Peter Schrager, Nate Burleson and Kyle Brandt.
"This might be the hardest question because I love both of these guys so much, but based on year one I'm gonna go with Justin Herbert," Schrager said. "Herbert comes in and lights up the league and here's the deal with him: physically he's a monster. Mentally he's a monster. He's a 4.0 GPA and a bio-engineering major. Everything he did last year was perfect. You can't go wrong with Burrow, but if I'm building a team right now I'm taking the guy that didn't have a season-ending ACL injury last year."
There are plenty of people that would take Herbert over Burrow at this point. Not only because of health, but because of his physical traits. He's big, strong, athletic and can throw the ball deep downfield with ease.
Despite Herbert's physical abilities, Burleson went in a different direction.
"Injury aside, I like what I saw from Joe Burrow a little bit more," Burleson said. "I just love Joe Burrow. I love everything about him. Even dating back to his college film and not just his college film, [but] when he's caught on film. I know I keep talking about some of these intangibles and things that you can't necessarily quantify, but when you're sitting back and you got that cigar in your mouth, that just shows me that you got it figured out. And he's mature. He's not a young rookie. He was an older rookie last season so going into his sophomore season, he's a lot more mature than most quarterbacks that are in his group. So for me I'm going with Joe Burrow, I think he's going to light it up this year."
Burrow's leadership is one of his best qualities. People in the Bengals organization had high expectations for him last season and he exceeded them—both on and off the field.
"I'm going with Burrow too and it's not the practical answer, I get it. Herbert did look good and Burrow did get hurt," Brandt said. "It's something intangible about Joe Burrow. I see him and I want to be in the huddle with him. I want to go to battle with him. I think he's got this it and this moxie that maybe Herbert will develop and continue to cultivate. This is a very tough question. Herbert looks fantastic. I don't know. There's something about if I'm going into a dark alley, I just know Joe Burrow's going to be there for me. Herbert probably will be too, but I know Burrow is. It's intangible as hell, but I'm going with my gut on this."
Burrow ultimately received two votes to Herbert's one, but it is an interesting debate.
Both teams added talent this offseason. They also have unproven coaches. Those are two major factors that will impact how we view Burrow and Herbert moving forward.
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